Both in the past and today, eggs have always had a special place in our cuisine.

Eggs in Ottoman Cuisine

Eggs have constituted the basis for many recipes both in the past and today, while egg dishes were even categorized under a separate heading in some Ottoman cookbooks. 

Although historical sources record that duck eggs were cooked for Mehmed the Conqueror, chicken eggs were mainly used in our traditional cuisine. It is recorded that in the 15th century, eggs were used in many dishes including tarhana (dried yogurt and flour), lapa (mushy rice), patlıcan kavurması (fried eggplant), kuzu yemeği (lamb dish), lalanga (fried pastries), and kalye (zucchini dish). In later centuries, eggs were used to make sauces for soups, and in puddings, pastries, pastry fillings, cookies, and desserts. 

In the Ottoman cuisine, omelets, which are made with whisked eggs and the current word for which derives from the French language, were made using a variety of ingredients ranging from eggplant to jam, and were called kaygana. In the 15th century, kaygana was mentioned in Kaygusuz Abdal’s poems as ballı (honey) kaygana. The recipe for yufkalı (phyllo) kaygana is also included in records.

Although we generally consume eggs for breakfast today, the chickpea and egg recipe I chose for you this month is an extremely filling meal that you can serve for lunch or dinner. 

Jam Crepes 

4 eggs / ¼ cup milk / 1 tbsp. flour / 1 tbsp. butter / 4 tbsp. any kind of jam / 1 tsp. castor sugar

Thoroughly mix the eggs, flour, and milk in a bowl. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the egg mixture. Cook the egg mixture on both sides, and place on a large plate. Spread three tablespoons of jam on the egg and fold as desired. Transfer onto a serving platter, add a spoonful of jam on top, sprinkle with castor sugar, and serve. 

Chickpeas and Eggs

3 eggs / 150 g finely diced lamb / 1 cup cooked chickpeas /2 tbsp. butter/ ½ small onion / ½ tsp. flaked red pepper / ½  tsp. black pepper / ½ tsp. rock salt

Finely dice the onion. On low heat, fry the meat and onion in butter for 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Break the eggs on top of the chickpea mixture, and add the spices. Cook until the egg reaches the desired consistency. Serve hot.

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